cod. 03568

Academic year 2021/22
3° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Politica economica (SECS-P/02)
Discipline economiche-politiche
Type of training activity
54 hours
of face-to-face activities
8 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding.
The student is expected to know the basic concepts and principles of economic policy. In particular, the
student is expected to acquire the fundamental knowledge related to: the “logic” of economic policy; fundamental elements of macroeconomics; monetary policy and fiscal policy; individual and social preferences; the pareto criterion and the new welfare economics; theories of justice and social welfare functions; social preferences and institutions; welfare state and corporate social responsibility.

Applying knowledge and understanding.
The student will be able to maintain and discuss clearly, through
appropriate arguments, possible proposals and considerations related to
economic policy issues, such as the logic of economic policy or the
efficiency of diverse economic policies on the basis of different
theoretical models.

Making judgements.
At the end of the course students will have acquired the ability to
critically interpret the main economic events at the center of the national
and international debate of economic policy, by evaluating their logic and
effects in the light of the different approaches and theoretical models

Communication skills.
Students will be able to communicate their own comments and ideas on
the issues of economic policy analyzed in the course to various
interlocutors effectively and appropriately.

Learning skills.
Student will acquire the ability to undertake, in the most independent
way possible, the analysis and the understanding of the logic behind alternative economic policies and of their potential effects.


The exam of Political economy is propedeutic to the exam of Economic policy.

Course unit content

The subject of the course is the analysis of the economic action of the public sector. The course is divided into three main parts.
The first part introduces the definition of objectives and instruments of economic policy, going into the depth of the distinction between monetary policy and fiscal policy; discusses the different approaches concerning the opportunity to implement economic policies; and considers some fundamental elements of macroeconomics in order to analyze the economic policy at a macro level. This part analyzes: the simple keynesian model and the IS-LM model. Moreover, this part presents an analysis of the notion of GDP as an indicator of welfare and discusses the Easterlin Paradox. The analysis will take into consideration case studies.
The second part goes into the depth of the analysis of criteria or objectives of economic policy. This part focuses on the following topics: individual and social preferences; the pareto criterion and the new welfare economics; theories of justice, social welfare functions and social optimum; social preferences and institutions (state and market). This part also presents a focus on the evolution of the welfare state, on the concept of “second welfare” and on the notion of corporate social responsibility.
The last part of the course analyzes the European integration, focusing on the theory of the Optimum Currency Area, evaluating costs and benefits of a common currency. This part also analyzes the Maastricht
criteria and discusses the idea of expansionary austerity.

Full programme

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N. ACOCELLA, Fondamenti di politica economica, Carocci editore, 2011,
chapters 1,2,3,4,5 and 6 (with respect to chapter 6 only sections 9 and 10).
V. VALLI, A. GEUNA and R. BURLANDO, Politica economica e
macroeconomia, Carocci editore, 2010, only chapters: 1,2,3,6 e
N.G. MANKIW and M.P. TAYLOR, L’essenziale di economia, Bologna,
Zanichelli, 2012, only chapter 29.
F. MAINO e M. FERRERA (a cura di) (2013), Primo Rapporto sul Secondo welfare in Italia, Centro di Ricerca e Documentazione Luigi Einaudi. Only the introduction - Ferrera M. and the first chapter "Tra nuovi bisogni e vincoli di bilancio: protagonisti, risorse, innovazione sociale" - Maino F.
F. MAINO e M. FERRERA (a cura di) (2019), Nuove alleanze per
un welfare che cambia
Quarto Rapporto sul secondo welfare in Italia; Only the introduction and Section 1.1. of the first Chapter "Un rinnovato protagonismo per stakeholder e corpi intermedi?
Il secondo welfare, tra evoluzioni concettuali e sviluppi empirici" di Maino F. e Razetti F.

Teaching methods

Didactic activities will be conducted mainly through frontal lessons. However, students will be involved in the activities through questions and discussions.

The slides will be uploaded on Elly ( on a weekly basis. They may help either attending or non-attending Students in preparing their exam, but they do not substitute for the handbook.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam and possible additional oral exam.
Written test (1hour and 15 minutes).
The knowledge and understanding will be assessed with two open
questions (each worth 5 points), which ask a short answer that is
specifically aimed at verifying the knowledge of the concepts and
principles discussed in the course.
The communication skills, the ability to apply the acquired knowledge
through appropriate arguments and reflections and the autonomy of
judgment will be assessed with two open questions (each worth 10
points), structured on several points which require the articulation of a
discourse which integrates different notions acquired during the course in
a coherent and logical way.
Learning skills will be assessed on the basis of an assessment across the
various answers to the different questions of the exam.
The integrative and optional oral test is performed in a separate day.
Students who
have obtained a written test score of at least 16/30 are admitted to the
oral test. For students who take the oral test: the questions of the oral
test concern all the issues of the course and the number of questions is
not less than two.
In the event of a continuing health emergency, and depending on its evolving, the exams may follow a different mode and may take place in attendance, in mixed mode, or only online for everyone (that is, remotely). Before the exam, the teacher will timely give information about the chosen modality through the Esse3 system.

Other information

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